It’s an exciting time for the Colts and the Saints. Not so much for the Vikings and the Jets. The Colts and the Saints will be playing in Super Bowl XLIV in less than 2 weeks.
As far as I’m concerned this is the best Super Bowl matchup the NFL could’ve asked for. Both teams were undefeated through the first 14 weeks of the season. Both teams lost consecutive games to end the season, but then picked it up again in the playoffs. The cast is top notch with two elite quarterbacks lining up under center, high profile WRs and RBs, incredible tight ends, and two up and coming defenses that are peaking at the right time. It’s the teams I wanted to see there all along.
Many would’ve liked to have seen Brett Favre on the big stage, but I’m happy his Vikings didn’t make it. Because he didn’t make it to the big game, for the next couple of weeks, we are going to hear many different story lines – not just ones contributing to a Favre lovefest. Yesterday, Favre took his gunslinging arm and threw two picks, one in the final seconds of regulation. Those costly mistakes on the game’s big canvas have defined his entire career. Yes, he’s hard working, he has fun, he has a hell of an arm, but he makes too many mistakes in too many games for me to consider him one of the greatest QBs of all time. Give Jay Cutler the same amount of time in the league, and I’m sure he’ll be compared to Favre for his strong yet mistake prone arm.
Back to the big game. This game is so meaningful for the Colts and the Saints for so many different reasons. It was five years ago when the very place that housed last night’s game had holes in the roof and provided shelter for many residents of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. The culturally rich city was a disaster and no one knew if it would recover to become a functioning place to live again. From that point on the Saints took on a different meaning to that city. In times of crisis, anything can become a helpful distraction from the painful reality of natural disasters. That’s what the Saints were to the devastated city – a sign that life will go on, a breath of fresh air. They were once called the Aint’s, but the moniker has disappeared now that they’ve reached their first Super Bowl. New Orleans already has a scheduled celebration for Mardi Gras on February 16th, but a Super Bowl win might make the city explode nine days earlier in an array of gold and black instead of gold, purple, and green.
The Colts have their sights set on winning in Miami once again. It was a good city to them the last time they were there for a Super Bowl when they beat the Bears in 2007. Winning this one for rookie head coach, Jim Caldwell, would help ease the loss of a lot this season. The Colts lost Tony Dungy and his incredible leadership ability. Colts’ fans were angry when Caldwell decided to rest his starters in week 16, resulting in a loss to the Jets and breaking the 23 consecutive regular season win streak. They had a chance to go undefeated this season and win a Super Bowl, something the Patriots couldn’t accomplish in 2008. Fans were outraged and wondered if that loss was going to hit them hard in the playoffs. For Peyton Manning, winning his second Super Bowl puts him in the same category as Tom Brady. He would have one up on his brother, Eli (oh, the sibling rivalry!), and he will be considered one of the greatest QBs of all time.
The storylines are there on both sides. I’m excited despite the Broncos playoff absence. Any Super Bowl predictions? Leave a comment below.